Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Two (Improved) Front Teeth for Christmas

I am pretty much convinced that my dad does cool stuff for me from Heaven.

Like, I do not think it's a coincidence that the tiniest corner of one of my front teeth just happened to come out in mouth the other day at swim practice.  I wasn't chewing anything, but all of a sudden - something gritty between my molars.  Tongued the something, transferred it to the tip of my finger:  yup, tooth colored.  Then I felt the tiny chip (which, because it was in my mouth, felt like the Grand Canyon).  Called my dentist the next morning to make an appointment, either to have it buffed out or filled.  I am all about prevention these days, and no sense walking around with something jagged in my mouth that could catch on another something and create a much larger (and more expensive) problem.

I have always been good about going to the dentist and consider regular checkups, cleanings, etc. to be wonderful, positive things.  My dad:  HATED the dentist.  And had the not-great teeth to show for it.  But he knew, and appreciated, that I felt differently about dentistry, and he complimented me on my attitude with regularity.

He also knew that I have always hated my front teeth.  They were buck teeth, for awhile.  Braces fixed that, but once the teeth were properly oriented (pointing straight down) it became apparent that they were a good bit larger, and slightly longer, than they probably ought to be to be in proportion with the rest of my choppers.  Drawing attention to this fact:  the right one was longer, and not straight across at the bottom.
What's worse than two kinda-rabbit-y front teeth?  One that's more rabbit-y than the other.

Once upon a time, I asked a dentist about filing both of them down, and he gave me a ten-minute diatribe about enamel erosion and yada-yada, so I resolved to live with my uneven rabbit teeth.

Then chip happened - to the outside corner of my elongated tooth.  And today I went to see my dentist (the marvelous Diana Raulston - seriously, she is marvelous, in every way), and the dental assistant opined that, as small as the chip was, no filling was likely to be needed - just a little smoothing.

Then in came Dr. R. - and, after confirming that we were talking "file," not "fill," she said the magic words:

You know, I think that tooth is too long, and that might be why it catches on stuff.  Want me to shorten it?

You can do that?

Sure.  I mean, I don't want to take off too much - you can always remove, but you can't add back.  Well, you CAN add back, but - you know.

Yes, I know.  And, YES, please shorten it.

She did.  It is now the same length as its partner - for the first time in EVER.

Such a small thing - but I cannot tell you how happy it makes me.  It is a good thing that I was the only person in the elevator on the way back up to the office, because I could not stop looking at my two front teeth, and smiling - much wider than I usually do, because I have no need to hide the bottoms of those teeth behind my bottom lip anymore.

I am convinced that Daddy set this all in motion, as a Christmas gift of the type that only an all-knowing, all-seeing, otherwordly person could provide. Angel wings look soft and fluffy, but they are deceptive.  If you put your weight behind them, and angle them just right, you can chip a tooth, just so.

Thanks, Daddy.  Front teeth for Christmas may be a corny cliche, but I love mine - for the first time in EVER.  And I will love you forever as well.

He Scares Me, Part Deux

LK has decided to write the Great American Novel.

He's trying out several concepts simultaneously.  One is on my phone, another is on my hard drive, and I believe that a third story starter is stored in the cloud somewhere.  (How is it that my nine year-old is intimately familiar with Google Drive?  Two words:  Big.  Kid.  One more word:  osmosis.)

And now LK has an agent.

Mom, Camden and I are writing a book together.  Well, sort of - I'm doing the writing, and he weighs in with ideas and stuff.  You know, he makes suggestions, and he proofreads?

You are describing a literary agent.

Cool.  I didn't know what to call him.  Do you have an envelope?


I wrote down some instructions for him, and I want to give them to him tomorrow, but I want to put them in an envelope.  You know, to make it more legit.

Got it.

I found an appropriately sized envelope.  And, yes, I snuck a peek.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

No Helicopter Needed, Part Deux

Allow me to introduce the Little Kid - elementary school crime-fighter.

[Note that I do not have a current picture of him dressed to fight crime, so a photo from his sixth birthday party will have to do.  He is bigger than this now - but only by a little bit.  Kid's never going to play professional basketball.]

A few weeks back, I heard LK explaining to Big Kid the deets of a playground run-in:

So then [name of child] said that he had six flat-screen TVs, two Playstations and an Xbox, and he said that EVERYONE IN OUR CLASS had that much swag, EXCEPT for me, because I'm "poor." 

BK:  But NONE of that is true.  And I think your friends know that.

LK:  Doesn't matter.  It still hurt my feelings, and he was still being a bully, and PEOPLE SHOULDN'T BULLY OTHER PEOPLE.

At this point, I stepped in and asked if Mom and Dad needed to take the matter up with LK's teacher - perhaps set up a meeting with the other boy's parents?

LK:  Oh, no.  I already told the teacher.  And she made him to apologize to me in front of everyone AND OFFER ME A FULL RETRACTION.  And he also lost playground time FOR AN ENTIRE WEEK.  So I think we're good.

Oh.  Okay.  Offer withdrawn.

Maybe two weeks after that, a highly agitated LK came home from school and informed his father of an unpleasant run-in with a male substitute teacher (no, not THAT kind of run-in):

I got up to go to the bathroom, because Mrs. C just lets us go on the honor system [editor's note:  the bathroom is right next door], and the substitute asked me, "What do you think you're doing?"  And I told him that I was going to the bathroom, and he said, "Oh, you THINK so, huh?"  And then he started mocking me - like, when I folded my arms, he folded his arms, and when my voice got high, he copied my voice, and then the other kids started to laugh.

Did he let you go to the bathroom?

Yes - EVENTUALLY.  And I cried a little bit in the bathroom, but I didn't let him see me cry.  And when I came back, I walked up to him, and I told him that I thought he was behaving like a bully, and that adults shouldn't bully kids - ESPECIALLY TEACHERS - and I told him that he hurt my feelings and I thought that he should apologize.

And how did he respond to THAT?

He blinked a couple of times - and then he apologized to me.


Spouse took offense at the substitute's action (with good reason) and decided to take the matter up with the principal.  He took LK with him, and when Spouse began to explain the situation, LK said:

No, let me.

An experienced trial attorney, Spouse described what followed as some of the best testimony he had ever seen delivered on the witness stand:  "He was aware of his audience and spoke to the principal like an adult conversing with an adult - never got overdramatic, never overexaggerated.  AND HE NEVER BROKE EYE CONTACT.  I am more afraid than ever that he is considering a run for major political office."

During his deposition - excuse me, while he was talking to Principal D - it came out that, after LK returned from the bathroom, the substitute proceeded to put another kid in a corner and taunt him until the boy started to cry.  It was at that point that Super LK decided that he needed to take a stand and call the substitute on his thuggish behavior.

The kid he defended?  Same kid who bullied LK on the playground.

Like LK said - they're good now.

The substitute has been forever banned from our campus. I'm planning on taking my helicopter seed money to Vegas, because apparently neither of my children will be in need of helicopter parent services anytime soon.

The principal is more convinced than ever that LK can do no wrong.  His given name has been permanently shelved:  to her, he is, consistently, "my sweet angel."

And LK has officially announced that in next spring's Student Council election he plans to forgo a run for treasurer (he's currently secretary), because "fourth graders can run for either treasurer OR vice president - and the vice president is that much closer to president."

Yup.  Just one heartbeat away.

Monday, December 2, 2013

He Scares Me

I may have mentioned before that the Little Kid was quiet as a church rodent for the first two years of his life - to the extent that I wondered aloud if he would ever establish a personality.

Be careful what you wish for.

It subsequently became apparent that the Little Kid is the whole package - smart as a whip, but savvy enough to know when to fly under the radar.  I fully believe that he spent those first two years developing his poker game, and to good effect - the kid knows when to hold 'em, fold 'em, walk away and run.

He is so adept at radar deflection that, from moment to moment, it is easy to forget just how whip-smart - and ever-so-slightly devious - he is.

And then he reminds you.

As we were putting up the Christmas tree Saturday evening, I muttered my displeasure at having to tether the tree top to a plant hook with fishing line in order to keep the canines and felines from tumping it over.  I referred to said canines as "hell hounds" and then opined that the Big Kid's cat (our twenty-pound Maine Coon) was an honorary hell hound.

Big Kid responded, "Max is NOT an H-hound."

Me:  You know, it's sweet that you are going out of your way NOT to swear in front of me, but it's actually okay to say a word that would otherwise be a swear if you are using it in a Biblical, mythological or literary capacity.

Little Kid:  Moby Dick.

Me:  Huh?

Little Kid (wearing a highly satisfied grin):  Moby.  DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICK.

Ever have one of those moments when you can't decide whether to paddle your child or high-five him?

Like I said:  whip-smart.  And ever-so-slightly devious.